and SAINT-DIONISY Gard, France.
The great fortress known as Roque de Viou is situated
in the communes of Nages and St.-Dionisy, between
Nîmes and Sommières. The site is a huge plateau (400 x
200 m) overlooking the Vaunage plain to the W and
joining the hills of Langlade and Nages to the E.
Two main phases have been revealed. The first period
of occupation covers the 8th and the beginning of the 7th
c. B.C., the date of a group of primitive huts found on
the site. Pottery and other articles have identified the first
inhabitants of Roque de Viou as the late Languedoc Urnfield people of the Mailhac 1 (department of Aude)
type. The second period is in the 4th c. B.C. when a dry
stone rampart more than 500 m long was erected on the
most vulnerable side of the plateau. From the plan of
the rampart wall it is clear that the oppidum was a barred
spur. Inside the rampart were built stone houses, simple
in plan, which contained quantities of local, Massaliot,
Attic, and Italiot ware.
Roque de Viou was abandoned in the first years of the
3d c. B.C. The inhabitants moved 100 m E, to the Castels
hill at Nages, at the foot of which is a gushing spring.
Here they founded the first city of Nages, traces of which
have been found—a circular rampart with a triple wall,
and a few houses. The objects found here match the most
recent finds at Roque de Viou. The first city of Nages
was destroyed between 250 and 230 B.C., possibly by the
The second city, founded ca. 230 B.C., represents remarkable progress in city planning. It had a new rampart
with a double wall, and one gate was protected by two
enormous towers. Inside the rampart the city was laid
out on an elaborate plan, with insulae and parallel streets
of uniform dimensions. Between 200 and 175 B.C. the
insulae were enlarged at the expense of the streets, which
narrowed from 5 to 2.5 m. The second city shows the
growing influence of Italic trade, as represented by vases
with black varnish and Campanian amphorae. The local
products, however, belong to a traditional civilization
typical of the Rhone valley. This second city was partly
destroyed between 120 and 100 B.C. and was superseded
by a third, with a fortified area four times as large. A
1200 m rampart with many towers and gates encircled
the hill, and the settlement grew considerably and became
a regional capital. A tall temple was erected about 70 B.C.
Roman influence was felt chiefly in trade; the actual civilization of the third city was Gallo-Greek.
The oppidum seems finally to have been abandoned ca.
A.D. 10. The temple was burnt down and the inhabitants
resettled in the plain around a villa of the Gallo-Roman
type. Finds made at Roque de Viou and Nages are now
housed in the Nages municipal museum, in the town hail.
E. Flouest, “L'oppidum de Nages,”
Comptes rendus des Congrès scientifiques de France
(1868) 339-44; Marignan, “L'habitat protohistorique de
Ia Roque de Viou,” Rhodania
(1929) 194ff; “Informations,” Gallia
20 (1962) 631-32; 22 (1964) 500-2; 27 (1969) 406; M. Aliger, “Nages, Gard, des origines à la
fin de l'Ere antique,” Celticum
16 (1967) 1-64MPI
Py, “Quelques précisions sur le site de Roque de Viou,
prélude à la fouille méthodique du site,” Ogam
20 (1968) 25-38; id. & F. Py, “Contribution à l'étude des remparts de Nages, Gard,” Revue Archéologique de Narbonnaise
2 (1969) 97-121MPI